The first football team in Al Ahly will conclude on Thursday its preparations for tomorrow’s match against Tunisian EST at the Olympic stadium in Rades, as Patrice Carteron puts the final touches on the team’s plan.
Al Ahly’s technical body will decided in today’s practice session the attacker to play tomorrow instead of Waleed Azaro, who was suspended for two games after the incident where he tore his shirt off. The comparison is between Marawan Mohsen and Salah Mohsen, and the final decision will be made after tonight’s practice session.
Additionally, tonight Carteron will also make his final decision regarding either playing with the trio in the midfield, or retaining the familiar form of the team, with the aim of creating a numerical intensity with the participation of Akram Tawfik with Hossam Ashour and Amr Elsolia.
With the result of the first leg march that Al Ahly won 3-1, a draw, winning or losing by one point, will ensure the team wins the championship for the ninth time in its history, and the first since 2013, then returning to participating in the Club World Cup to be held in UAE next month.
Al Ahly’s mission arrived at Carthage airport in Tunisia on Tuesday, as the team practiced over the past two days in one of the courts near the hotel the team is staying at. Mahmoud El Khatib, the club’s president, and the team’s delegation held in Tunisia more than one session in order to encourage players and qualify them mentally for the game.
For his part, Mohamed Youssef, the general coach, warned the team from the attempts of the EST supporters to provoke the players during the match, stressing that this is very common.
‘Presentation’, Al Ahly’s sponsor, announced that several discounted trips to Tunisia were declared to allow fans to travel from and to Cairo to support their team at the stadium.
VAR under testing
The video assistant referee (VAR) technology will be tested tomorrow during the EST and Al Ahly match on Friday. This followed the controversy the was raised regarding the first use of this technology at Borg El Arab stadium.
The African Football Confederation (CAF) has not officially announced until this moment the name of the referee to be leading the match tomorrow, even though Ethiopian Bamlak Tessema is the most prominent name on the table for the match in Rades.
Al Ahly without Azaro…four wins, four defeats, and two draws
CAF has sent a heavy blow to Al Ahly’s technical staff after announcing the suspension of Moroccan Waleed Azaro for two games and imposing a fine of $20,000 on Al Ahly after the incident of tearing his own shirt off during the African Champions League final against EST.
Azaro was not present during Al Ahly’s matches last season and this season, missing 10 games, including the two matches against Semouha last season and the match against Zamalek, where his team lost 2-1.
Al Ahly played a match against Al Ittihad Alexandria Club in the Premier League this season without Azaro and the team lost the match by 4-3.
In the African Champions League this season, Azaro was also not present during the match against EST in the first round of groups, which ended in a draw. He was also absent during the Kampala City match where Al Ahly lost by 2-0.
In the absence of Azaro, Al Ahly won four matches, lost four matches and reached a draw in two matches. The team has scored 13 goals and conceded 12 goals.
Al Ahly has lodged a protest against suspending its Moroccan attacker. “The incident of the player tearing his shirt off was a non-athletic behavior which the player was held accountable for by his club, but such an incidents is also common in all matches and this is not how players should be penalized, which makes us wonder about the rules of such sanctions, especially that this happened before the final match of a major championship such as the finale of the African Championship,” Al Ahly said in an official statement.